A high-quality touring rig at an affordable price.
Less stable than the all-rounders and budget designs above.
Paddlers who go out on in for extended distances and multi-day excursions require an adventure-ready feature set as well as tested performance. The Thurso Surf Expedition 138 (which is also available in the 12’6″ version, called The Expedition 150) fits that perfectly. The Expedition is extremely durable, with the quadruple and triple-layer PVC strengthening the sides and deck (most boards come with two layers across) this provides the same rigidity with the hardboard. The Expedition also has practical and well-thought-out features, such as the paddle holder and kayak seat attachment points and a carbon paddle included. The main draw for us is its price at only $899 (on sale as of the date of writing at $719) The Expedition is among the most affordable designs for touring that we have reviewed and can get you on the water at a lower cost than the majority of other models.
It is important to keep in your mind that when you have a dedicated touring board such as that of the Expedition 138, you do sacrifice some flexibility for leisurely cruising and other activities such as yoga (the dimensions of the board result in lower stability in general). In addition, unlike other all-rounders it is the Expedition also comes with the smallest traction pad size, which makes it more difficult for you to paddle with your pet or children on the board. However, the Thurso’s shorter length makes it a little more maneuverable than tour boards that are in the 12-to-13-foot distance, while the choice to set up a two-fin setup provides stability when you require it. If you’re looking for a model that is less focused on performance take a look at the Thurso Surf Waterwalker that is available in three lengths ranging from 10 to 11 feet.